The Nigerian government has formally inaugurated the Smart Identity Cards (ID) programme powered by the system developed by National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan at a ceremony in the capital Abuja was among the first to enrol for national identity cards issued through the new system. He said, “There is a growing quest for specific databases and identity verification by several government institutions and private sector organisations in our country.”
NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik in his message said, “It is a landmark achievement which will get additional IT projects from Nigeria and other African countries.” Malik was invited to Abuja but could not make it, said the spokesperson.
It is encouraging to see that customised system indigenously developed by NADRA has now empowered the government of Nigeria in issuance of tamperproof and secure smart national ID cards to Nigerian citizens, said Malik.
NADRA was likely to sign additional business from Nigeria that involves integration of IRIS (eye scan technology) with Nigerian ID card system, further strengthening the security features of the back-end system for NIC, sources in NADRA said.
“The authority is in the process of concluding a negotiation with Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to provide multiple back-end modules to verify the biometric enrolment data including facial and fingerprints to comply with international standards,” said the NADRA officials.
Nigeria started registration of citizens after the formal inauguration and issuance of NIC to the president. NADRA is working with its counterpart Nigerian government agency NIMC to deliver a robust national identity management system to assist the Nigerian government.
Meanwhile, Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan congratulated the Nigerian government and expressed his optimism for strengthening the ties between the two countries. He also appreciated NADRA’s management and project team for the hard work they have put in to complete the project successfully.
NADRA has been providing services as a back-end system integrator for the programme that has been implemented in two phases. In first phase, NADRA successfully delivered back-end processing modules, national ID database, management reporting and web-based verification followed by the second phase that includes Integration of automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS), facial and ID card production.
NADRA has also conducted capacity building trainings and transfer of technology that enabled Nigerian government to roll out ID card programme with issuance of national ID cards to their citizens.
The registration authority’s other international projects include machine readable passport (MRP) issuance system for Kenya, driving licensing system for Bangladesh and civil registration system in Sudan.
Recently, NADRA has also been shortlisted on Identity Card System for Sri Lanka. NADRA is among the top 50 system integrators in world ranking, according to Italy-based ID World Congress ratings, said the NADRA spokesperson.